Oh sweet Lord, if I don’t get this out to all of you I am just going to burst. I’m here at work, contemplating leaving for the day, considering my current inability to hold back tears. I began to write a letter, sharing how broken my heart feels – and that for the first time I really understood when David wrote how his heart was"faint within himself."
These are the only words that keep coming to me. I pulled up Psalm 143 and printed it out; I just began to meditate on this amazing heart cry of David’s to the Lord. It brought moments of comfort. I started to write and write. I was writing about how in our humanness we run from the feelings of sadness and rejection; longing never to feel that empty weight. I wrote about my desire to face these emotions head-on, reminded of how Christ went before us, taking the cross for the joy set before him. Not to turn to fleshly comfort, but to the only Comforter of my soul. I felt broken as I wrote.
And then the phone rang.
It was a man who was staying in Rm 152. I knew something had been different with this room, he checked in after Audit nearing 3am, and had a woman calling for him a couple times in the morning. He had called down earlier to say he wanted to stay tonight as well. And then this phone call .. he was very drunk. He was slurring his speech something bad, trying as best as he could to ask me who had been calling for him. (These are obviously not the norm for phone calls). I told him I wasn’t exactly sure, and he lingered on the phone for a minute- and then I felt it. I was broken ... but this man - he was really broken.
..So I began to ask him about his heart, and he tried to joke it off in drunkenness. I told him he sounded very hurt. I began talking about the things of God and I started to hear a shift in his tone growing more serious.
I told him he needed to live with a sober mind if he wanted to live. He literally just started to sob, and sob, and sob. He began to confess his heart – when I would talk about Jesus and our need for true peace he would say “I know.”; but then he would literally scream as though in pain. He just kept crying saying he couldn't take his life anymore, he just wanted to die. He then kept saying he had hurt too many people.
He told me he
Killing men was his profession.
I’ve never heard anyone wrestle with demons the way I heard this man..
He began to have a conversation with someone, but I would soon come to find, there was no one in the room with him. He was calling this “someone” his “homeboy”, and was cursing at him from the core of his being. He was so angry with this “person,” blaming them.He told him to “GET OUT” and began SCREAMING, literally screaming. My heart grew sad within me because you could hear so much hurtand pain in his voice. I sat on the phone, and I just listened. I knew now that God had in some way prepared my heart for this just minutes before he called as I pondered the depth of heartbreak and Psalm 143. Yet, I still couldn’t believe this was happening like this. He continued to have a conversation with this demon. Literally conversing. He came back to the line and just continued to cry. I knew with the way he was screaming and crying out that it wouldn't be long before there would have to be some kind of intervention on our end at the hotel. I called someone to cover the front, and as I walked toward his room, right as I was about to knock he opened the door. He tried wiping the tears away quickly, and thought I was there to clean the room. I told him I was the person he had been on the phone with. He now let the tears fall openly, and just wept and wept. He was a very big man, native looking. He stood in the hallway towering over me and just sobbed.
He then began to say he was going through a divorce and his heart was so hurt. He talked about his kids and his wife, how much he wanted to love them, and I asked if that was who was calling – he said yes. All I felt I could tell him was to love. I told him how much God loved him and wanted him. When I said that he started to cry out that he didn’t know how!
...And then he began pulling at his shirt and looking up saying he couldn’t get rid of the anger in him. He was so wrestling with himself and with his anger. His arms would raise and you could see how badly he wanted to hurt, or kill, something. I felt as though I was now watching someone go through the heartache I had moments earlierbeen reading from the Psalms. He started to scream again, but then he cried out to the Lord just saying “God help me! I hate this life, I hate this life, I don't want to be a gangster anymore.." I just stood there with him and asked Jesus to help him. I’m crying as I write this.
He asked God to take his anger and his pain, and he just cried and pulled at his shirt.
He then moved over to the corner of one of the hallways by our fitness center and got on his knees and cried out to Jesus.. Seriously, just right there in the hallway.
I felt bad to hope that none of my team members would come down this hall and see us, but I knew there would be no stopping what was happening. He then began to say “Can God forgive me? I’m a hitman, a mobster, I’ve killed so many people.”
- My heart just raced ; GOD HELP THIS MAN. -
I just got on my knees with him and told him God COULD forgive him but he HAD to turn this ALL over to Him.
He got on his face and just prayed.
He really prayed!
It was one of the most raw sounding heart-filled prayers I have ever heard. Over and over he asked Jesus to forgive Him! He began thanking God, and said "God make me born again, make me born again" .. I felt like I was dreaming - but I just kept asking Jesus to save him. John 3:3 rang in my ears. I read him Psalm 143 (because I had it already printed out and took it with me to the room, God is good.) He just kept asking for prayer. He started to get up and he looked SO much lighter, like a weight had been lifted. He then started to curse his mobster friends, saying "f them""I'm done with it, no more no more no more." You could hear his violent anger toward them. I told him he would have to love them too, that it wasn't their fault - and then he got down on his knees AND PRAYED FOR THEM BY NAME as he wept!!
I walked him back to his room and when I opened the door he looked at the bottle of Maker's Mark on the table and said..
"that is my demon." Knowing if I hesitated for even a moment, I wouldn't say it: So, I quickly told him to give it to me. He walked over to the desk, and in my hands it was.
... I poured it out in the hallway bathroom toilet.
I was able to meet and speak to his wife when she came in. She told me a lot - it was a disheartening situation, but clearly God given. What do I do now with the fact that he said he was a hitman. He ended up leaving with the wife so no one else was really involved (except when management found that he was smoking in the room, and he broke a coffee mug, so we had to charge him an extra $250. My boss walked by and said "there was Psalm on his counter..." I didn't say anything.)
I had to share this. The power of testimony is great, and so is prayer. I'm so praying that he really did become born again. I gave his wife my number, maybe someday we will get an awesome report. Please pray for him with me. His name is Mark. The powers of darkness haunt this man, as they do with us all.
May the Light of Christ power over all, and put a new song in his mouth.
Needless to say,
in the middle of our broken hearts-
God is with us.
"He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD." Psalm40:3